By Raiza Giorgi

Broken Clock Vinegar Works has been named the recipient of the North County EconAlliance’s Innovation Award for 2020. This award recognizes a business that is impacting the area through new ideas, products, practices and technologies. 

“We were told we were nominated by the Solvang Chamber and so great to be chosen,” said Jody Williams, co-founder of the business. “I like to think that we are very innovative, as the only shrub business we know of around, and haven’t gone the normal way of making it like through apple cider vinegar. We make them from the fruit we harvest.” 

This year the award was given at the Virtual Future Forum which featured keynote speaker Mathew Griffin, an international futurist and the founder and CEO of the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070.

Broken Clock Vinegar Works was started in 2016 by Solvang residents Charles (C.T.) and Jody Williams, under a cottage food license. 

“We had a shrub cocktail at The Landsby and it was really good so we started to research how to make a shrub,” Jody Williams said. “We were harvesting lemons at the time and our kitchen countertop quickly turned into a test lab with lemon and other local fruits.” 

The duo quickly outgrew that capacity and in 2017, moved into a larger industrial space with a full winery license. Their products span a variety of shrubs and vinegars which are marketed to use in cooking, marinades, dressings and cocktails, or just sparkling water.

Broken Clock Vinegar Works is unlike other shrub producers as they operate under a winery license to produce fruit wines which are then acetified into vinegar. These vinegars are then used as the base for their shrubs. To their knowledge, they are the only shrub producer handling the process completely in-house, from farm to product.

“When we owned Wandering Dog Wine Bar, now Arrowsmiths, we would bring in the shrub as an additional item to promote, and I remember having that ‘A-ha!’ moment with C.T. that this could be a legit business,” Williams added. 

They also provide an outlet for farms to use fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste, creating a new sales channel for those farms. All of these relationships have a positive impact on the economic vitality of the North County and provide tourists another unique experience while they visit the Central Coast.

“We won’t be opening a retail shop any time soon,” Williams said. “We prefer the more ‘pop-up’ style where we can take the shrubs to different wineries and showcase how the shrubs can enhance the wine.” 

The Economic Alliance Foundation (EconAlliance) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization which has a mission to “Build Awareness, Advocacy and Appreciation for Northern Santa Barbara County Industries and Communities.” The organization champions the North County sectors that fuel local communities and inspire regional prosperity and worker opportunities. This cross-industry alliance serves as the only organization solely focused on Northern Santa Barbara County industries. Visit their website at

To learn more about Broken Clock Vinegar Works visit, or call 805-245-7389 to schedule a visit. They are currently open for to-go bottles only but look forward for tastings once permitted to do so.